Field of Science

Monday Morning Musings - A new semester begins

The first Monday of a new semester is always such a dreary thing; everyone seems to have forgotten whatever they knew or didn't know about how such things work. This year the semester seems to be starting early, but if so, trading a week of January classes for a week of May classes works just fine for us field researchers. The office staff wants this, that, and the other thing, all of which goes into an administrative black hole someplace because it never ever seems to be used or seen again. Students wander nearly aimlessly in a sort of Brownian motion and a few accidental collisions land some of them in your classroom. My primary botany class this semester is plant diversity, my best subject, a class filled with fascinating ideas and hypotheses, yet the enrollment is low, but at least it's students with a hard-core interest in plants. Oh, no, email arrives announcing the first phaculty meeting; another with interview schedules for candidates for neurobiology, and not a botanist among them, disappointing if the Society for Plant Neurobiology represents the absolute cutting edge of delusional biology. Another email; a student wants in an already oversubscribed seminar. Back to the coffee hoping the caffeine kicks in soon. And so it goes. You'd think the Phactor would get used to this after sixty one semesters. The afternoon should be better.

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